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A devised, original performance
collaboratively created and written by
Nick Broncucia, Colin Carlix, Fatima Estrada Rascon, John "Jack" Flotte,
Michael Kaelin, Dan LoRusso, Brittany Maher, Courtney Moynihan and Jorge Palacios
Origins concept Daniel Valdez
Script facilitated and assembled by Janna L. Goodwin
Origins: Discovering Self Identity
Claver Recital Hall of Regis University
October 30, 2015
Directed by Daniel Valdez
Produced by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts
A cozy room in a family home. Kitchen table holds a TV set, C. Sofas, pillows,
lamps surround a rug. The audience are friends, family, part of the scene.
On the TV, the title of the piece, Origins, floats…
MUSIC: We Are Family (Sly and the Family Stone)
My name—if I could spend—we would—I would ask—[NEED ACTUAL TEXT]
My name is Fátima Estrada-Rascón. You can call me Fati but my family knows that I prefer
I come from a long line of saints and whores, the earth and the sky, and the light and the dark,
but my God we’re resilient. Some could say that’s where I get my stubbornness from.
I wish I could spend an evening with my great-great grandmother Manana because, unlike me,
she was quiet, patient, submissive but a resourceful woman. And she could make these candies
that had the whole town lining up at the door.

My name is John Boyle Flotte. But I’ve always been a Jack.
I was born in St. Louis and I come from genius mothers with large vocabularies and larger
hearts, and fathers who loved their careers almost as much as their sons and daughters.
I wish I could spend an afternoon with my Grandpa Bill. He was an artist and he would show me
the way around a painting: the palette, the oil crayons, the brushes, the canvas. I’d ask him, what
inspired you as an artist? Before, and after, the war?
My name is Brittany Nicole Maher, but my momma calls me Britty Girl. If I could spend the day
with anyone it would be with my Great Oma and we would go around Holland sightseeing,
especially the Ann Frank House. I would be 22 and she would be 65. If I could ask my Great
Oma anything it would be “Why did you never re-marry?”
My name is Courtney Meghan Moynihan. Although my family prefers to call me, Coco Nunu.
If I could spend an afternoon with one of my relatives, it would be my great-great grandma
Ingaborg Aunan. I would be twenty-one and she would be eighty. We would spend the entirety
of the afternoon at our family cabin in Moose Lake, MN. Which is where I’d ask her about the
life she left behind in Eidsvol, Norway. But more specifically I’d ask, “What’s the happiest
memory you have?”
My name is Colin James Karlix, but my mom calls me Colibear. I was born in Plaaan-O
Texas 1993, rooted in southern hospitality and god loving faith.
If I could spend the afternoon with my great great grandfather, dr. Threlkeld, he would
take me to assist on a house call and I'd see the miracle of life for myself
If I could ask him one thing, it would be "why did you choose to help the native

My name is Nick Joseph Broncucia, but my family calls me Nicky Noodle. What can I tell you
about my family? Well, there hardworking, funny, loud, and Italian. I can also tell you stories,
lots of stories, the stories my Nini tells me as she sits at the dinner table lighting up one of her
Salem shorts, and taking a long slow drag says,
In Nini’s voice:
“The old days were like this…. because of what my mom said, we never thought we were poor
even though we lived like share croppers. Our house on 37th and Mariposa had whisky bottles in
the windows, and we fit 10 or 15 people in the kitchen to eat a meal.”
SLIDE 2—Nini’s House
I love her stories about North Denver, Denver’s little Italy, about the “neighborhood”, when it
was light years away from change and the box apartments of today. Back in those days
gentrification would have been a strange word not capicola, and the only organic produce you
could find, would be in the front yard of my Great Great Grandfather Papa Maude’s house.
SLIDE 3— Menu
Maron, the times are changing. However I’m not worried, because these stories are in my blood,
a blood thick and rich like a fine Chianti wine and my grandma's marinara.
Antoinette Marianne Haccou.
SLIDE 4—Antoinette and her doll
Born: July 30, 1939 – Jakarta, Indonesia. She married Sanford Gunter (Born October 30, 1933Peoria, Illinois) on March 21—a civil union – and March 22 in a church, the year was 1958 and
the place was Amsterdam.
She emigrated to the U.S. about a year after they married when Sanford finished his military
service. She had two children Michael Gunter and Michelle Gunter. For the majority of her life
she was a stay at home mom, but she also taught ballet and ran an art gallery.
The Japanese came to Indonesia—
SLIDE 5—map of Indonesia
--in August of 1942 and created concentration camps for prisoners of war.
ALL stand—JORGE/JAPANESE SOLDIER intimidates the group

BRITTANY (cont'd)
These camps were not bad in the beginning women were allowed to leave as long as they came
back by nightfall but as the war continued so did the cruelty to the prisoners—
--roll call and mandatory labor.
Food also started of well but as supplies started to become limited the food quality decreased and
so the disease among the prisoners went up—
ALL cough, sick
--many died. You could hear the screams of women—
A scream—
--as they were raped, hung by their nails until they came out, beaten with whips and many other
horrible acts.
The Japanese gave the families of the Dutch plantations an hour to pack up their things before
heading to the concentration camp.
SLIDE 6—concentration camp
Antoinette was only two with her father away on business in Holland, her mother, Suzanne,
packed them up. She stuffed jewelry into Antoinette’s doll and while in the camps used the
jewelry to get any food she could for her daughter.
We still have bracelets, the last remaining jewelry from the doll, which will be passed from
generation to generation, grandmother to granddaughter.
In the concentration camp there was a huge tree, this tree is a sugar cane tree.
ALL stand to pull sugar from cane tree
SLIDE 7—sugar cane tree
When Antoinette’s birthday rolled around the women and children gathered around the tree
pulling of sugar cane to celebrate.
ALL eat; delighted—
It was one of the few moments of joy in the camp.

BRITTANY (cont'd)
The leader of the camp would get moon sickness, when the moon was full.
He made everyone gather around him in a circle, bowing for hours.
ALL bow
Suzanne had asthma and couldn’t not breath doing this, so they would beat her with a nine tails
whip. Once the Japanese found out that she had asthma they would let her stand to catch her
breath but she still had to endure this pain. I wish I knew more about my great grandmother’s
While in the camp Suzanne was given a letter by the Red Cross.
A whistle—NICK delivers a letter—all lean in—take the letter—fold forward in
The letter is from her husband.
He is asking for a divorce. While Suzanne and Antoinette are in the camp he started relations
with someone and had fallen in love with her.
ALL sigh with disappointment and sadness
He wanted to marry her, abandoning his wife and daughter.
It is the last days of the war and the Japanese tell the Dutch to leave the camp.
JORGE—Japanese soldier—cries out “ALL LEAVE!” in “Japanese”
Everyone was so scared that if they left they would be killed. Suzanne took the chance with the
help of Rudd whom was carrying Antoinette, they escaped.
While running from the concentration camp—
ALL run and freeze in motion—
—it was bombed.
ALL cry out BOOM!
SLIDE 8—bombed camp
—they never looked back.

MUSIC: Take Me Out To The Ballgame
ALL reach for hats, pull ‘em on—
ALL sing:
Take me out to the ballgame!
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks!
I don’t care if I never come back!
And it’s root, root, root for the home team!
If they don’t win it’s a shame!
For it’s ONE TWO THREE strikes you’re out
At the old ballgame!
SLIDE 9—Baseball logo
It was the summer of 1957 and we were down in Austin Texas playing in the Babe Ruth World
I was 17 years old and having an unbelievable season, leading the team in hits, batting average
and homeruns. We were playing ball since the middle of May and at the start of the season we
didn’t expect to be playing until mid-august with some of the best talent in the nation. We
wouldn’t be where we are now if our team didn’t have such good chemistry. I’ve played with
many great athletes on many great teams but this group of guys was different. We all pushed
each other to become better baseball players through these long hot summer months. This team
played their hearts out all summer long. These guys earned the chance to be playing in World
ALL stand—toss and catch ball—some stretch in the dugout
This was the first team I have played on a team where I felt like I was a part of a family. The
mentality for us was one thing, to keep winning, so that’s what we did. All summer long
tournament after tournament we fought until we reached our goal, the Babe Ruth World Series.
Grab suitcases
SLIDE 10—Hot sun
When we arrived in Austin Texas it was hotter than hell.
The humidity was so bad that you felt as if you were 20 pound heavier. I thought that the
tournament in Washington D.C. back in July was the hottest weather we would play in, but I sure
was wrong.

DAN (cont'd)
ALL hot—
I began to wonder how this god awful weather would impact our play on the field. We needed
our A game if we were going to compete with the best teams in the nation. Because the
tournament was at the University of Texas they stuck us in empty dorm rooms. Those dorms felt
like they were hotter than the outside. How the hell did they expect us to sleep in this?
SLIDE 11—Jackie Robinson
We were one of the only teams in the tournament with black players. At this time in the south,
African Americans were forced to play in their own leagues. During 1957 world of baseball was
going through at transition. African Americans were becoming increasingly fascinated with the
game of baseball. Their fascination was due to the great Jackie Robinson. He was the first
African American to play in the Major Leagues. Back in January of 57 Robinson announced his
retirement after an incredible 10 year career with the Brooklyn Dodgers. His career had an
incredible influence on the game of baseball. He was a hero who changed the sport forever.
6 o’clock rolled around and the team headed to the dining hall for some grub.
ALL sit, eat—
I was using the phone in the dorms to call my mother so she knew I arrived safely to Austin. I
told the team I’d catch up with them. After the phone call home ended I made my way to the
dining hall to eat with my teammates. When I walked into the dining hall all the players in the
tournament were eating with their teams. I saw a few of my teammates and coaches at a table in
the far corner of the room so I grabbed a plate and got in line to be served. After I got my food I
sat down with my team. That’s when I realized something was wrong. Only about half of the
team was in the dining hall. I looked at coach and asked “hey aren’t we missing some guys?”
That’s when he informed me of the situation
Whites Only!
SLIDE 12—Whites Only
Apparently the University of Texas dining hall was a whites only building, but the staff was
sincere enough to let my 7 black teammates eat in the kitchen. Hearing this caused a wave of
anger and frustration to flow through my veins. I watched my teammates continue on an eat their
meals as if this situation didn’t mean a dam thing. How could they let this slide I wondered? We
will share the field with them but we won’t eat in the same room with them? Is this some kind of
sick joke? After all this team has been through this is how we treat 7 of our players. At that

DAN (cont't)
moment I angrily stood up and kicked the chair I was sitting in out of my way picked up my
plate and turned towards the kitchen.
The conversation of amongst the other players became silent as the whole room turned in my
direction to see what that loud noise was. When coach asked me “what’s your problem where are
you going”. I told him that I was going to eat with my team in the kitchen.
Stands up, throws tray, kicks the chair—
ALL stand, wonder what’s wrong
Play ball!
Stands and begins
SLIDE 13—dinner table
My mom always says, “DON’T be late to dinner!!!” She also says, “Your friends are the family
that you choose. I think we have both been lucky.” This story is the reason my friends live at my
house and the reason why we never missed family dinner.
She bent half of a half-hearted smile when he came through the door. And even that required a
lot of machinery, like bending a steel pipe. My grandma Marian had already come home from
work, made dinner for her son Brian and her daughter Pam and her husband, Bill. She had been
sewing a pillow for 2 hours already by the time Bill came stumbling into the kitchen.
Pam, my mother, told me—
“When I was a kid I was rarely allowed to have friends over. And if I did I was always fearful
because with my dad’s drinking you never knew if he was going to be crazy or just barely
My Grandpa Bill was as talented as they come—
COLIN stands and paints
—an incredible artist—

SLIDE 14—Bill self-portrait
--but all the premium gum erasers in the world could not erase his past and even the most vivid
palette could not paint the picture of a model father.
Now Billy loved to draw, but not as much as he loved to splatter, pour, and splash paint on a
fresh white canvas.
COLIN/BILLY splashes paint onto canvas
He ran around the house with a bomber hat on making airplane noises with his arms spread as
wide as they could be.
COLIN/BILLY flies around the room making airplane sounds
When Bill joined the service his mother thought he would never come home. Her son’s
inevitable death was so much for her that she sold all of his clothing and, his art supplies.
SLIDE 15—Billy's art supplies
William Michael Kavanaugh served in the U.S. Army in WWII loading bombs onto planes in
California. In 1943, one of the bombs exploded.
NICK, MICHAEL, JORGE—three of BILLY’s friends—explode and die
Three of his friends were killed from the blast.
3 men up and back to places—
He was hospitalized for shrapnel in his chest and leg.
COLIN clutches chest and limps off
After he recovered from his flesh wounds he was hospitalized for psychiatric help. Today they
would say that my grandpa has PTSD.
More accurately, shell-shock.
Also known as combat exhaustion. Realistically, the scars of war that live under the skin. The
dark pockets of a man’s mind that have been stained with the indelible ink of missed targets.
Pockets he wished he could cut out but the thread was sewn too strong, fibers un-washable,
neurons un-erasable, but drown-able with enough booze. My mother used to say—

“One of the things that made your dad attractive to me, is that he was an alcoholic that had
stopped drinking. However, if you don’t deal with the underlying issues of why you were
medicating yourself, then you’re still unhappy.”
Upon his return home he had no brush with which to paint his pain. Only a blank canvas
permanently pierced with the searing sound of the bomb.
SLIDE 16—Billy in uniform
My grandpa never saw the battlefield. And no one ever saw the battlefield inside grandpa.
COLIN/BILLY slow salute—returns to seat
Bill was the first person in his family to go to college. He got an archaeology degree from
Washington University in St. Louis. My mother confessed,
“Now what he thought he was going to do with that degree I have no idea. Would have been nice
if I had asked him wouldn’t it?”
At the university he took an art class, then took a mail-in art class, then he got a job with
McDonnell Douglas (now called Boeing) working as an artist and designing airplanes. A dream
SLIDE 17— Bill drawing of airplane
He held a job with the St. Louis Post Dispatch paper doing their graphics but could not keep it
because of his drinking. The same could be said for his brief job as a cartographer at the U.S.
mapping agency.
“I remember hearing some research on the TV report where it said that the one thing that Rhodes
scholars had in common, was that they all had family dinners. So I took that to heart. And I
think it was also something I longed for as a child. So I felt it was important for us, even on the
boring nights when nobody had much to say. Just being together is important.”
SLIDE 18—Bill drawing of pilot
My great-great grandpa Andres Oinenaunan came to America from Singsås, Norway in 1894.
SLIDE 19—USS ATRIMUS – the immigrant ship

COURTNEY (cont'd)
Upon his arrival at Ellis Island his name was changed, which was when he became “Andrew
Aunan”. Andrew settled in Duluth, Minnesota; where he established his own carpentry business,
purchased our beloved family cabin, and raised four children.
SLIDE 20—family portrait
My grandma Phyllis loves telling stories of my great-great grandpa Andrew.
“Grandpa Andrew was such a great man, you know his name appears in many Norwegian text
books as he sent money back to our relatives to ensure they’d receive a proper education.”
Oh, and did I mention that Andrew found love in America?
SLIDE 21—Andres and Ingaborg
He was married to Ingaborg Jensen in 1903…? I probably forgot to acknowledge Ingaborg
seeing as everyone else in our family fails to do so -- but, on the off chance that they do, it’s
never pleasant. Trying to convince any of my relatives to share stories of Ingaborg is nearly
impossible; unless of course the stories are negative or hard-hearted. Many would say that she
was, “just as cold as the corner of Norway from which she came!”
Grandma Ingaborg was a very religious woman. It was this devotion to her faith that brought her
to America. Although none of my living relatives know the exact name of said faith, what we do
know is that, according to Phyllis, she forbade anything “fun”. A few examples of what
Ingaborg was opposed to included; attending the matinee, card playing, dancing, as well as
drinking pop or alcohol.
But why was she such a miserable person? Her negative ora couldn’t have been completely
influenced by her strict religious beliefs. It seems to me that she’d left something important back
in Norway when she left for America.
It wasn’t until much later in life that her most well kept secret would surface.
SLIDE 22—Ingeborg letter
Ingaborg had been working on a letter to relatives in Norway when my great aunt paid her a
visit. Within the letter she’d drawn a beautiful sketch of our cabin. My aunt had never seen
anything like it, let alone, she had no idea that her grandmother was capable of such talent. After
much convincing, Ingaborg finally explained that when she’d left Norway for America, she’d
also left art school behind. She believed that in order to fully concentrate on learning the English
language she had to push all other distractions to the back burner, which included her artwork.
SLIDE 23—house with ladies (too small!)

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her to leave behind her family and all that she’d
ever known in search for a new beginning. In doing so, she chose to conceal a talent as well as
her passion for art. If I were Ingaborg, I’d probably become bitter, too. There’s a lot that I don’t
know about my great-great grandma Ingaborg Aunan, but what I do know is that I hope one day
I can be as talented and as strong of a woman as she was.
SOUND CLIP—Baltazar historia
My great-grandfather, Carlos Rascón López-SLIDE 24--Carlos
--didn’t really get to grow up with a father. He was born during the Mexican Revolution.
And when Carlos was 1 year old, his father, Rafael Rascón, got into a fight with the brothers of
his own son-in-law (los agarro a patadas).
SLIDE 25 - People
It seems that Rafael won the fight because the very next day Rafael’s son-in-law came to knock
on his door (loud stomps to represent knocks). Right there he pulled out his gun and shot Rafael
point blank in front of his family (a slam simulating the noise of a gunshot followed by a quitter
stomp to represent the noise of a fallen body). With his death a lot of our family history died.
Rafael’s murder left to the US to escape his crime taking my great-great-aunt, Pillar, with him
where and she was forced to live with the murderer of her own father for the rest of her life.
Rafael’s wife, María López, was not only a widow, but it is also rumored that she was one of the
Apache or Tewa woman who was kidnapped from her tribe to marry a settler. So… no one really
asked many questions or said anything.
I don’t know, maybe this is just the way that things were done during the revolution. But what I
do know is that the scares of war and conquest tore holes the stories of my family and we are left
here trying to piece together who we are.
This molcajete belonged to Viviana Delgado Hornelas, endearingly known as Manana.
SLIDE 26—Manana
She was my great-great grandmother, but her memory still lives strong. Born in 1903 Manana’s
childhood was cut short when she caught the attention of one of the most powerful and reputable
men in Chihuahua, Ricardo Caraveo Estrada. Manana was wed to Ricardo when she was just 12
years old and Ricardo was in his late 30s. Despite her young age Manana adapted to the role of a
housewife and a mother. She gave life to 4 children, Lazarita, Adela, Reynaldo and Francisca.
Ricardo and Manana’s arranged marriage was cut short by Ricardo’s death when Manana was
only 24 years old. Despite having her youth stolen from her, Manana devoted her life to her

FATIMA (cont'd)
children and committed covering her body in black for the rest of her life. After Ricardo’s death
her only son, Reynaldo, destroyed all of the riches that Manana had inherited from Ricardo’s
wealth. Manana used what she had left to make and sell candies in order to sustain herself and
her children using this molcajete.
MUSIC-- Lazarita Caraveo (Indita Mia)
As her mother, FATIMA calls BRITTANY to help her cut and chop for dinner
This song was dedicated to my great-grandma, Lazarita Caraveo, by a young man named Miguel
Aceves Mejia.
My great-grandma had fallen in love with Miguel, but my great-grandpa, Rito Hernández
Antillón, had already come to pedirle la mano (ask for my great-grandmother’s hand in
marriage). They were married in 1932 (estimate) when Lazarita was 16 and Rito was 27. For the
rest of Lazarita’s life she would cry every time she heard the song “Indita Mía”.
My ancestry comes from Threlkeld, Keswick, England.
SLIDE 28—Threlkeld, England landscape
We took the last name Threlkeld when we immigrated, but it was spelled a ton of different ways
because spellcheck wasn't invented yet. Threlkeld is translated as the Thrall's Spring. Yes, my
humble beginnings start in farmers in the poor fields of rural England.
Following a love for farming, my family immigrated to the south. My great great
grandfather, William roly Threlkeld—
SLIDE 29—Grandpa
--was born in Pontotoc County, Ada, Oklahoma in 1877. He grew up with a strong faith, always
attending Sunday church and often enjoyed reading the Bible in his free time. He also was a
gentle and caring man, and had enough patience to tend a garden on his family's farm in Ada
Oklahoma. Now why I didn't recieve the patience gene I have no clue.
He also had a desire to serve, and did so by becoming the first doctor of our family,

COLIN (cont'd)
graduating from medical school in St. Louis, 1901. After receiving his degree, he went
back to Francis, an Indian reservation in Oklahoma before it was even called Oklahoma.
SLIDE 30—Oklahoma reservation
In the early 1900s, reservation reassignments tended to concentrate heavily in
Oklahoma, and these places quickly became under-resourced, and a poor living area,
with little to no medical care.
My great great grandfather, moved back here to open a home call practice, delivering
children, but instead fell in love with serving the community of the Native American
people. As my grandfather tells the story, "he was a man of god, and loved all of his
children, and against common discrimination he was truly tolerant and accepting of all
people." He was a legend, delivering over 5000 Native American children in his time as
a house call doctor.
I wish I could ask him why he did it. What inspired him? I would ask about his dedication
to service and his moral compass. I would tell him he was a hero, and wish he could've
seen all the lives he changed forever.
SLIDE 31—Arias' military I.D.
CLASE 1930.
Nombre: Palacios Arias Ramon.
Fecha de nacimiento: 20 de Mayo de 1930.
Nació en: Cuitlahuac, Cuaht., Chih.
SLIDE 32—grandfather papers
Hijo de: Clemente Palacios.
Y de: Manuela Arias.
Estado civil: Soltero.
Ocupación: Agricultor.
¿Sabe leer y escribir? Si.

JORGE (cont'd)
Grado máximo de estudios: 40. Año Primaria.
Domicilio: Cuitlahuac, Cuauht—
A house made of adobe, on dirt roads, surrounded by few, but not very many, similar houses,
with a wild, angry horse, wearing a broken saddle, finally calming down. My grandfather—
SLIDE 33—grandfather and his father
--bringing the horse in with him, faces my great grandfather, who wears a disappointed look on
his face. My grandfather, stubborn, and in shock, threatens to leave. What they all fail to realize
is that he really will leave, and no one will stop him, so when he returns, in about 8 months, then
the course of the Palacios family's fate will forever be changed.
On a period of time, when I was home with my wife and child, in Santa Ana (Santana), we were
in the process of getting our child, the first of many, baptized. My cousins, from a town that was
a half a days travel on horse back, urged me to baptize the child there, as it was the closest parish
with a priest. My wife, Angela, urged me not to go, but my cousins insisted, so I went, with the
child, and she stayed behind. The child was baptized, but as we celebrated outside the chapel, a
friend from the neighborhood tried to shoot out un balazo, a bullet, in celebration. The bullet hit
me in the stomach, and I was rushed to the nearest hospital. My cousins fled on horse to notify
my wife, who at that point was scared sick. I fully recovered after only a few weeks, and I hold
no grudge against the man who shot me, though I still carry that bullet inside my stomach.
I remember very clearly one incident, for which I had been a part of, though I was not there for
the entirety of. At some point, while working in the United States, I sent a package home to my
wife and children, and some money, as I was now accustomed to doing. The package contained
some food stuff, peanut butter, and dish soap. When I came back, I was very surprised and
amused to find out that the women had been washing their hair with the dish soap, thinking it
was shampoo!
My grandparent's house, a small, adobe house, with lots of space around it, and lots of kids
running around. It was dusty, surrounded by dirt roads. As a red, 1976 Ford 250, a few years old,
drives up, my grandfather in the driver's seat, and my father, about 14 years old, knows how
special this moment is. This is the first truck anyone in our family has ever owned.
Now, I’d like to share a song with you. For a long time, I thought it was my grandfather’s
favorite song. It wasn’t, the real song you heard, not too long ago. It’s called “Indita Mia.” No,
the song I would like to share with you is actually a song that, in many ways, reminds me a lot of
my grandfather, and through learning more about him via this project, that has become more
JORGE plays song: El Hijo del Pueblo

SLIDE 34—Bat boy
It was a great day to be a St. Louisan. I was sitting in the clubhouse by the managers office while
music played and the guys celebrated. The Cardinals had just beaten the Cubs in a day/night
double header with walk offs in both games. In my short 10 year-old life this was the best day I
had ever experienced as a Cardinal’s fan especially since I was the bat boy for the team.
SLIDE 35—Team pics
As I sat there watching the guys, Coach Martin, even though he always tells me to call him
Pepper, came out of his office. I could tell he had just finished answering some reporter’s
questions about the big wins because he had a big grin on his face. “We beat those Scrubs good
today boys. How they played, I bet they don’t come close to winning a World Series for another
100 years.” There was a photographer hanging out in the dugout enjoying the celebration when
he looked over at me. He called out to Pepper and asked “How about a picture with the kid Pep?”
SLIDE 36—Batboy on Petter's shoulders
Pepper looked down on me and said “Sureeeee,” and he hoisted me up by my collar and had a
big grin on his face. All of the guys started hooting and hollering over us and I couldn’t help but
have a matching grin on my face. I love the St. Louis Cardinals.
MUSIC IN: Tarantella
After work my grandfather, Papa Joe, would come over to our house for dinner. We lived on the
same property that his grandfather Guiseppe first settled on after coming from Calabria Italy in
the late 1800’s. They used to just farm the land, but I had only ever know it as a landscaping
business. Even though they made lot more money, I could tell my grandfather loved the farming
SLIDE 37—Giuseppe and Wife
While eating a plate of my mom’s Rigatoni's, the garlic from my mom’s slow cooked tomato
sauce, and sweet anise from the sausage filling the air, he’d say, “Nick, have I told you the onion
Now I’ve heard the the onion story, carrot story, lettuce story, celery story a thousand times, you
name it and there’s a vegetable story.
“Papo!”, I’d say, “but I’ve heard it a million times!”
He’d tell it anyway, and I would relent and listen to it as though I’d never heard it.

NICK (con'td)
Taking a break from eating my grandpa would pick up his strong hands, thick like meatballs, and
dark from countless days in the hot sun, and began motioning how he would drill a hole for the
seed and when the harvest came pull the onion and tie a group of them up for the market in a slip
I would lose focus and fix my glance on the crucifix ring which after 30+ years of remaining on
his swollen hands had almost become welded to his finger.
I’d start listening again because I loved to hear about the market. Denargo Market.
SLIDE 38—Fields and Denargo market
He would always say, “people don’t appreciate the farmer like they should, they feed the world.”
And it was the truth. Denargo Market was located next to Union Station and farmers from
Welby, Arvada, and North Denver would ship their produce across the country and world.
I’d love to have seen those day. I can picture my grandfather and his dad, Tony, waking up
before the sun and driving their ford truck down Washington street, south, when it was a dirt
road, and before I-25 was a thought in the cities mind.
There were so many characters at the Market. He always told the story of one in particular, Lou
Filippo, who was a hopeless romantic. He would always talk to my great grandfather tony about
his love life or lack thereof, “I just can’t find the right girl he’d say.” Tony assuring him the he
would told him to keep looking. Finally, one day, to their surprise he walked up to their stall
where they were selling that years harvest of trench celery. Smiling he said, “Tony, I found her!”
Tony replied, “who is she tell me about her!”
He continued, “Well Tony, gawd, she has the face of a pig, but boy does she have the bucks!”
At this point my grandfather breaks out into a deep joyous laugh, as if he was a teenager again,
with his father at the market on one of those cold colorado mornings.
Lou wasn’t the only character, North denver was full of them. My uncle Charlee “Wazee”
Garramone also worked at Denargo. He was called “Wazee” because he lived on Wazee street
and everybody would greet him, yelling, “hey Wazee!!!”
SLIDE 39—Image
I asked my grandma about this and she told me, “In those days everyone had a nickname,
sometimes, we didn’t even know the person's real name.

NICK (con'td)
“The Smaldone brothers were, Chauncey, Filp Flop, and Checkers. George was the pope, Ralph
Acierno was “Snookie,” Babe was the Undertaker, and Folren DeSalvo was “The Goose,” Your
other uncles were Fox and Dude. There were so many, Slugger, Pudgie, Chuggers, Avalanche,
Young Man, Jibby, Booster, Chopper, Rooster and Jigs, The ladies even had nicknames, Stella
Garramone was “Songbird,” Nancy, “Sugar,” Rose, “The Bearded Lady,” and “Queenie”
Madona was…..see, I forgot her first name.
MUSIC in: Tarantella
Nick improvise dance steps to Tarantella

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